Movement & Character: Elizabeth Andres

As part of my internship with APRN, I’ve been exploring new methods of storytelling. This audio slideshow is a profile on UAA student Elizabeth Andres, whose area of study is Natural Sciences. Andres also teaches dance classes at Anchorage Music and Dance Center.

“My name is Elizabeth Andres and I am a dance teacher at Anchorage Music and Dance, where I teach ballet, tap, and jazz.

When I was about four years old, my mom put me in dance. My sister and I started dancing in the hometown studio in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska. And I kept dancing.

What I love about teaching now is I really have a lot of freedom to create my own dance curriculum, and I also have a lot of interesting opportunities to create dances for all different levels. I choreograph for my kindergarten ballet class, and they are just three, four, and five-year-olds who are just getting started on their dance journey. And then I also choreograph for some of the older girls as well.

I really try to instill in my students, and I had it really taught to me, was that dance should be a way of giving you a positive body image. You don’t always hear that associated with dance, in fact a lot of times you hear the opposite, but I think there are a lot of great teachers out there that have really shown that when you dance, you’re learning more about your body and you’re learning to appreciate your body more. I think that’s a really important lesson.

For me, dance in my life has been so important. It’s really been something where if I hadn’t danced, if I hadn’t had that experience of being pushed and challenged and really seeing the reward for my hard work, I think that I might not be as driven as I am today. I don’t think that I would really appreciate what goes into becoming good at something, if I hadn’t had that experience early in life.”

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Heather Aronno is an intern for APRN for the Spring 2012 semester. She has previously completed an internship for APRN in the summer of 2011, and is Strategic Communications Major at University of Alaska Anchorage. A transplant from the lower 48, Heather has lived in Anchorage, Alaska since the summer of 2005. Fortunately, it was a nice summer, and she's considered Alaska her home ever since.

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